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War at home.Russia is virtually warned by human rights experts under martial law

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Russia’s rights and freedoms have been limited to the fact that the country is effectively under martial law.This is the conclusion New report Written by Pavel Chikov, head of the rights group Agora, a prominent human rights expert, and Damir Gainutdinov, head of the Net Freedoms Project.Indeed, against the background of Moscow A month of aggression In Ukraine, Russian authorities have moved to impose serious restrictions on basic national constitutional rights and freedoms. As Chikov and Gainutdinov write, these restrictions primarily affect meetings, speech, freedom of movement, and private property rights. Meduza summarizes the main findings of the report here.

Freedom of assembly

Russian authorities have not approved a single anti-war demonstration, or a single rally to support so-called “special military operations”, since the Kremlin launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24. .. The public rally was rejected under the guise of “pandemic restrictions.” Protesters were detained all at once in an unauthorized anti-war rally. Russian law enforcement agencies have already arrested more than 15,000 people in anti-war protests nationwide, and there are dozens of reports of police beating demonstrators.

Read more about anti-war protests in Russia

In the midst of protests, the Russian House of Representatives swiftly adopted an amendment that was essentially equivalent to the “Military Censorship Law.” This includes the introduction of administrative and criminal liability for “false news” or “damaging” of Russian military actions. The law in question was adopted on March 4, and Russian authorities began to actively enforce it by March 6. At the time of writing, about 60 administrative protocols have been created nationwide.

To date, authorities have filed at least 10 criminal proceedings under the law, four of which are against journalists. In addition, dozens of investigations are known to be underway against journalists and activists as part of a criminal case that has nothing to do with anti-war protests.

Freedom of speech

Immediately after Russia’s total invasion of Ukraine, new restrictions were placed on freedom of speech. On February 26, Roskomnadzor, a federal communications and censorship watcher, began issuing notices to the media, requesting editors to withdraw reports of the war. A few days later, censorship agencies began blocking online publications in bulk. In total, at least 811 websites are blocked. In addition to targeting the media, Russian authorities have begun to crack down on social networks. In addition to blocking Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Russia has declared Meta (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) as an “extremist organization”. Whether Google and its services can continue to operate in Russia remains an open question.

At the same time, some US and EU tech companies have stopped servicing Russian customers and are imposing restrictions on access to services from Russian IP addresses. In summary, all of this severely limits Russia’s relationship with the world’s Internet.

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Freedom of exercise

The aftermath of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has significantly reduced the opportunities for Russian residents to exercise their freedom of movement. This is mainly due to the fact that Western countries are closing the sky on Russian planes and vice versa. Movements within Russia are also complicated by the closure of 11 airports in the central and southern parts of the country (measures just extended until April 1).

Cross-border travel in Russia also remains severely restricted. At this time, you are free to cross the border with Belarus (which is also separated from European airspace). The restrictions on the border between Kazakhstan and Mongolia will be lifted on March 30. However, according to the author of the report, this actually only allows travel to other parts of Central Asia. The borders with the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Finland, Georgia and Azerbaijan remain closed in the name of pandemic regulation.

Private property rights

As part of the steps taken to counter international sanctions and protect the Russian economy, authorities have decided to move towards limiting private property rights. After a bill was submitted to the House of Representatives on March 23 and “restrictions” were introduced against Russia “in the context of the unfriendly behavior of foreigners”, the inability of Russian citizens to fulfill their contractual obligations “finally” If it turns out to be “impossible”, make it impossible to fulfill its obligations. Status. “

In addition, Russia’s Federal Intellectual Property Services (Rospatent) has begun to develop regulations that limit the rights of copyright owners, or foreign companies. On March 3, a court in the Kirov region denied a groundbreaking decision by a British company for infringement of its exclusive right because the copyright owner was “based in an unfriendly country.” Was given.

Focus on 2021 crackdown

The authors of the report also state that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine clarified the authorities’ logic and assumptions. Total crackdown About domestic political opposition and 2021 independent coverage.Indeed, this full-scale war was with Alexei Navalny’s imprisonment. Outlaw Team Nawarny As a “radical” and to oppress democratic activists and more aggressive members Communist Party, And on the blacklist of dozens of independent media as “foreign agents”. All of these groups were “shaping public opinion” in Russia and probably created “strong opposition to national propaganda” during the war.

Inside story

The author of the report said that domestic political preparations for aggression actually began in November 2020, and shortly after a series of national security councils, Russia’s “Media Law” was amended to “call individuals”. I think it is now possible to designate as a “foreign agent”.

Measures to control Russia’s Internet and preparations to isolate it from the global network were prepared by Kremlin officials in the spring of 2020. Andrey Lipov He took over the head of Roskomnadzor (according to the report’s author, his predecessor Alexander Zharov “couldn’t handle the task of subordinating the Runet”). Under Lipov, Russian censorship agencies have begun preparations to block media outlets and social networks together. As the report points out, the tone of interaction between Roskomnadzor and global tech companies has also changed dramatically, and agencies no longer consider them partners.

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Translated by Irish heart

https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/03/26/the-war-at-home War at home.Russia is virtually warned by human rights experts under martial law

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